Japan promotes Fukushima food and sake in EU

Japan is promoting food and sake from Fukushima to the European Union, after the bloc lifted import restrictions from the prefecture last month.

The Mission of Japan to the EU invited the bloc's officials and ambassadors to a promotional event on Tuesday. It was held in Brussels, home to the EU headquarters.

On display were traditional Japanese sweets made with dried Anpogaki persimmons from Fukushima. Peach juice, processed bonitos and sake were also showcased.

In early August, the EU lifted all import restrictions on food products from Fukushima and nine neighboring prefectures. They were imposed following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Japan's Ambassador to the EU Masaki Yasushi told attendees that Japan is ensuring food safety through a rigorous surveillance system that is based on scientific evidence.

He said he is pleased that people in the EU will now have more opportunities to taste food and beverages from Fukushima and nearby prefectures.

Fukushima Governor Uchibori Masao expressed gratitude in a video message, saying the EU's lifting of regulations will boost efforts to dispel unfounded rumors about the prefecture.

Visitors who sampled the delicacies said they liked the food and wished to visit Japan. One praised the fragrance and flavor of sake, adding that the drink is good both cold and hot.

Ambassador Masaki said Brussels is home to representatives of 27 EU countries and a perfect place for the event. He said he hopes Japanese food exports to the EU will grow.